Defending champion Alcaraz beat Marozsan to reach the quarterfinals at Indian Wells

Carlos Alcaraz made sure Fabian Marozsan didn’t have a repeat performance on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open, defeating the Hungarian in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to avenge his loss in Rome last year. The reigning champion won his 50th match at the ATP Masters 1000 level with tenacity from the baseline, unleashing tremendous firepower to beat the 24-year-old Marozsan and advance to the quarterfinals after an hour and 15 minutes of battle.

From 2-3 in the first set, Alcaraz fired off four straight games to take a one-set lead over the World No.58. The 20-year-old Spaniard attacked Marozsan’s second serve and changed his return position, standing on the baseline waiting to prowl and retiring near to the back wall. Alcaraz, a four-time Masters 1000 champion, won 62% of his second-serve return points. A courageous Alcaraz even hit a 105-mph forehand winner in the seventh game of the second set, immediately after erasing Marozsan’s two break points.

With a 9-3 season record, Alcaraz improved to 1-1 in his Lexus ATP Head-to-Head series with Marozsan, who beat the two-time major champion in straight sets as a qualifier in Rome last year. The young Spaniard will now face sixth seed Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals on March 15. The top-ranked German, Zverev defeated 10th seed Alex de Minaur 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 to reach the last eight.

Zverev has the upper hand as the 26-year-old German leads Alcaraz 5-3 in the Lexus ATP Head-to-Head record. Alcaraz, a 12-time tour-level champion, is seeking his first trophy since Wimbledon. Alcaraz has won nine consecutive matches in the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where he has advanced to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive year.

Honestly, I was nervous before the match, I’m not going to lie. Playing against someone who beat you easily and I remember I had no chances in the match in Rome, Alcaraz admitted after winning the match. It was difficult for me today to approach the match, but I’m really happy with the way that I did. I started pretty well, playing my style since the beginning. Today I knew what I had to do better than I did in Rome, the Spaniard added.

After a great first set, it was time to keep going and keep pushing in the second set. Trying to break as soon as possible and be up in the score. Don’t let him play his style on the court, that’s what I was thinking and I think I did pretty well, he concluded.